14 Apps and Tools to Stave Off Cabin Fever

As more and more counties and states impose shelter-in-place restrictions while the new coronavirus spreads, everyone's suddenly spending much more time at home . While you might be glad to have escaped the grind of the daily commute for a while, staying indoors for the majority of the day comes with its own set of challenges . Your smartphone can help.

With the right choice of apps, you can forget you're in such a confined space, get some exercise, and let your mind roam free. From socializing to exercise to checking up on the news, these are the apps you need. If you want more of a gaming distraction, check out these mobile offerings and console titles that will help get you through . And don't forget to stock up on the right gear and supplies .

Calm$13 a month (7-day free trial), Android and iOS

Staying well while you're cooped up in one place is a mental challenge as well as a physical one, but Calm can help keep you sane. It's packed with curated music and spoken word tracks to help you take life a little more easily, as well as guided meditations of various durations so you can pick them out based on how much time you can spare.


$13 a month (free samples), Android and iOS

If any app can keep you steady while you're working and living at home, it's Headspace. The app is packed full with guided meditations, music clips, and spoken word narrations of varying lengths, all finely tuned to help you relax, get to sleep, or simply go somewhere else in your head. It's really good at tracking your meditation progress, too.


Photograph: Libby via David Nield

Free, Android and iOS

Being stuck indoors is the perfect opportunity to catch up on some reading. If you've got a valid local library card then you can borrow thousands of ebooks and audiobooks from Libby , digitally, free of charge. The selection can sometimes be limited, especially now that everyone's borrowing digitally, but the app has everything you need in terms of viewing and playing content, managing your loans, syncing files for offline use, and more besides.


$2, Android and iOS

Maybe you don't need as much interaction with other people during the day, but you do need something to break the silence. Enter Noisli, which can produce an endless stream of simulated sounds—everything from a coffee shop to a forest in a thunderstorm to plain white noise. Mix and match the available audio to suit your mood while you're working.


Photograph: Brain.fm via David Nield